J-P Wooding: Who benefits from A14 roadworks?

J-P Wooding is struggling to see the benefits of the A14 widening work
J-P Wooding is struggling to see the benefits of the A14 widening work
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After a relaxing weekend in Brighton last week my wife drove for 160 miles without hitting one traffic jam.

Why are the residents of Kettering and surrounding areas subjected to long-term traffic problems? How have we benefited?

The current delays caused by the A14 roadworks are nothing short of shocking.

Every day on my return journey home from Wellingborough the traffic flow, or should that be traffic dribble, is terrible.

Even If I am fortunate enough to make it out of Burton Latimer without stopping, I am soon resigned to using first gear for the remainder of the journey from the A14 roundabout to my destination on the Ise Lodge estate.

Now I’m sure that there are valid reasons to the work being carried out, but the thing that concerns and frustrates me is that I don’t see the immediate benefit to the people affected.

If something was being done to help relieve the congestion within the town, then it may ease some of the road users’ worries.

I understand that plans are afoot for several traffic-calming measures which are hoping to be implemented.

The trouble is that this is becoming an annoying cycle, an annual event for the town and surrounding area.

Last year we had the railway bridge work being carried out on Pytchley Road.

As a result we had congestion which would have even stopped an industrial container of Vicks VapoRub!

The traffic updates on the radio could be on repeat just saying “Kettering, A14, usual!”

Quite often these situations are compounded by the brilliant idea of smaller roadworks taking place, usually on the alternative routes that commuters have to take, an example being the four-way traffic lights on Polwell Lane; together with the A14 they caused a total lock-up into the town from Wellingborough and the A6.

I would hazard a guess that incidents of road rage are actually caused by drivers’ frustrations, with tempers rising as quickly as the car temperatures are too.

I sometimes think we’re so tightly packed together that if the driver behind me pushes their cigarette lighter a bit too hard, I may end up branded!

However, the worst may be yet to come.

More works are set to start next year for the new junction 10A on the A14.

The Warkton Lane development will also start soon; which I think will be a nightmare.

There will be huge delays getting out of Warkton Lane before even trying to travel along Barton Road.

Perhaps when the new junction is finished traffic flow will ease and all will be smooth.

Unfortunately I have visions of the new development becoming a rat run of sorts during rush hour; many will bypass Warkton Lane, shooting through the residential areas to join the A14.

Read more from J-P here.